New Years Eve was a bit different this year as Em and I hiked 25 kilometres up and over Mount Buffalo to bush camp in the middle of no where. We then did a further 13 kilometres New Years Day to make our way back out – so 38 kilometres in total!!!
We left Melbourne at 6:00 am t arrive at the base of Mount Buffalo at 9:30am for the start of our initial 11km climb upwards to the top of the Gorge and Mt Buffalo Chalet via the Big Walk Track.
Em – Pack loaded and Ready!!!
Start of The Big Walk – All up hill!!!
This epic walk started at Eurobin Creek Picnic Area where we left the Jeep for our return the next day. After a bit of fun on the swing bridge at the start we did an immediate tough 2km climbing 370m. Poor Em immediately got bad blisters on her heels from this initial climb and this would see her be in some pain for the hiking of the next two days.
After the initial hit it was easier going to the half way point at Mackey’s Lookout. At 920 metres it is a great view of the Aussie Alps as was the walk to it through Bracken Ferns and Candlebark Gums. Still all uphill just not as steep as the initial climb.
The next 1.2km’s was tough going again up to Marriott’s Lookout. The track was over steep rocks and with switch back after switch back it felt like a lot of walking but going nowhere. However the view at Marriott’s Lookout of the Gorge was fantastic and so a great spot to stop for lunch – Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwiches for me and Brie Sandwiches for Em.
The walk up to Marriott’s Lookout gave us a chance to refill water bottled from one of the many small streams. Three hours and we had both already consumed several litres each of water.
From Marriott’s we had the back half of the climb up through Snow Gums and eventually onto the spectacular views of the Gorge.
At the Top – Chalet in the Background
Now after reaching the top of the Gorge and the Mt Buffalo Chalet any normal person would call it a day. For Em it was where I gave her the unfortunate news that we had another 14km to go…albeit somewhat flatter…to out campsite for the night. The first part of this was a pleasant 2km to Lake Catani where she would be able to have a good rest and soak her feet. We reached the lake around 3:30pm and stopped for about an hour.
The final 12km had us pick up our pace from the 2km per hour up hill to a 4km an hour pace. This saw us make it into the Rocky Creek Campsite around 7:30pm – an hour before sunset.
We took the Long Plain Track from Lake Catani and then Mac’s Peak until eventually coming out onto the Reservoir Road Fire Trail.
This final half of the days hike took us to exhaustion and to Em’s credit she just trooped on, bad blisters and all. We both were not happy to see the last few kilometres head down hill as all we could think about was the up hill to reverse it in the morning.
Rocky Creek Campsite – End to a long Day